Letters to Angela Davis

EE-4-Z

20 January 78
PO Box 893
Georgetown, Guyana SA

Dear Angela,

Hello Comrade! I am a member of Jonestown. I am 17 years of age and in High School. I have listened to you speak at the San Francisco Temple and have read your book. I enjoyed your speeches and appreciated hearing you speak about Black Liberation and for the Peoples Freedom. All my life I have wondered if there would be anyplace in the world where Blacks, Indians, or minority people could go and really be free. Well, I never found the place until I came to Jonestown, Guyana. Because, in the States all I saw was young people going to drugs or jail or even being killed. But here in Johnstown, there is none of that. It is a very beautiful community and I would like to tell you just a little bit about it.

In Jonestown we have 5 large buildings which we call dorms, about 60 cottages, a large kitchen and a main dining area where we all eat together. Surrounding Jonestown is miles and miles of jungle. It is so beautiful to look out and see nature as it should be, not infiltrated with smog and pollution – much less racism and fascism. We have about 50 dogs, 3 beautiful birds, 2 small monkeys – plus Mr. Muggs (the chimpanzee), 2 horses, 16 cows, 100 pigs, 2000 chickens, 1 anteater and many others. We serve 3 meals a day also 3 midtime meals (snacks). And many 100’s of acres of food planted: Bananas, fruits, eddoes, papayas, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, just so many for me to even think of. We also have a large Cassava Mill, Piggery, Chicken House, Sawmill, Tent, Mechanic Shop and other productive things.

We also have a very beautiful nursery – for the babies. There are three different rooms – one is for babies 0-8 months, the next room is for 8-18 months, and the last room is 18 mths to three years. The parents can leave their babies in the nursery if they want to while they go out to work. All of the babies here are very healthy, as a matter of fact – in Jonestown, a community of around 900 citizens we only have maybe a couple of people that are not to their best of health. The climate is nice and warm but there is always a cool breeze blowing. No money in the world could ever pay for this kind of a life. Many people coming from the States that are here, did not know anything about agriculture, including myself. But I have caught on and learned that I really love working in the warm sun, planting, weeding, and picking the food. Which really makes me feel good because I know that I’m doing it for myself and I can actually see what I have produced it and eat it! Jonestown is undescribably beautiful. Thanks to my leader, Jim Jones, who paid my way over here, I can now live with comrades that care for me. I work in the nursery with the babies, 0-8 months and enjoy it very much. I hope that you will write us back in response to our letters. We are determined to keep our land free and committed to defending our land. We really have a beautiful land to defend and we’re not going to let the capitalists come in and take over our land.

Thinking Of You Always,
Your Comrade Sister,
Candace Cordell
Jonestown, Guyana

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Jonestown, Guyana, NWR
PO Box 893
Georgetown, Guyana

Dear Angela Davis,

My name is Keith Newsome and I think you are a good comrade. Jonestown is a socialist community and we share with one another, work together, live together, and eat together. Jonestown is a 27 thousand acre place. I am a good worker, and I work in the cassava field. And part time I go to school, and school here is another drug like it is back [in the] States. I go to high school and I am thirteen yrs old. In school we learn about Guyana history and socialism and how to be a socialist. We learn proper English, First-Aid, Biology, and math. All my teachers are Harriet Tropp, Shirley Robinson, Lois Ponts, and Don Bowers. We take cold showers because the medical doctor says it is good for your health. We have agricultural meetings to discuss land. And the water and food is pure, clean, and good. I love it here and I am planning on never leaving Jonestown. And the weather here is not to hot or never to cold. And their is no kind of racism here. And it is so beautiful here in Jonestown, Guyana. Keep on struggling for your beliefs and maybe I will see you out here someday.

Your Comrade
Keith Newsome

Write back if you can.

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Jonestown, Guyana, NWR
PO Box 893
Georgetown, Guyana

Dear Comrade Angela,

My name is Brenda Cobb and I am 14 years old. And I am a teacher’s aid and I appreciate it a lot. In the afternoons I work in the garden. We sing songs and enjoy ourselves. Also we go to school and they teach us math, socialism, English, spelling etc.… I’m in the high school. We also have junior high and elementary school. I teach the elementary. We have all kinds of entertainments such as skits, drill team and dances. We have real fun. Here we have things that we didn’t have back in the States, we have more fun too. Because we don’t have to work for someone else. We work for ourselves. We eat together. And we really have a good time together – we have cows, dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, 1 lamb, horses, birds, and sloths also a friendly anteater. We have thousands of acres in one day Jonestown is going to be a town because it is already a village. On Sunday afternoons we have a free day and we go to the falls which is creeks and pretty streams. We also played volleyball and soccer. We just have a good time. We appreciate all the help you gave us. Maybe one day you will come and see how Jonestown is. It’s really lovely. I would never want to go back to the States. By the way I’m Ava’s sister and she told me to tell you hi and tell Sammy hi. Write if you can. See you as soon as possible.

Your Socialist Comrade

Brenda Cobb

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Jonestown, NWR, Guyana
PO Box 893
Georgetown, Guyana

Dear Angela,

I guess you are trying to figure out who I am and all of that so I will tell ya. My name is Tiny Turner but some of my friends call me Skippy. I am 18 years old I will be 19. Sep 19, 1959. I go to school here in Jonestown. On Sundays we get a half day off from work, but we work from 7:00 to 6:30 but on Sundays we worked until 7:00 to 12:30 and then that night we have treats such as: cookies & candy & other things. The food here is just so good that you just can’t help but go back for more, not because you be hunger but because it is so good. My job here in Jonestown is the felds [fields]. I plant food and I also have worked on making toys for our little babies. The weather is so nice here. You also don’t have to worry about being shot or stabe for no reason at all. We all have seen you talk many of times. We have the best leader in the whole wide world. He always be saying good things about you and work. We will be looking forward to seeing you here in Jonestown some day.

by Tiny B.A.K. Skippy

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Jonestown, NWR, Guyana
PO Box 893
Georgetown, Guyana

To Comrade Angela Davis,

Hi, I’m Lisa Wright a youth of People’s Temple, I’m 16 years old. I have been in this movement since I was about 8 years old. I’m a supervisor in the field planting foods such as eddoes, cutlass beans. I enjoy it very much here in Jonestown. The food is fresh, air clean, water has no chemicals. The setting is so beautiful. Thanks to our founder leader Jim Jones, no one would have taken the time to come find and prepare a beautiful place as this, 30 miles long all around for us and anyone who wants freedom, justice and equality. Angela there is no sexism, racism are ageism and everyone is treated equally, given the same love and concern. From Jim Jones. We have a doctor and nurses that check us to make sure we’re doing fine and in the best condition, if not we are immediately sent to get whatever needed no matter how much it costs. Angela I am grateful to you for helping us, and being a true sister to this socialist movement – being there when we needed you, your always willing to give us a help[ing] hand. Thanks sister we need more true sisters like you. Because we must stick together. Unity we stand divided we fell. I would like to invite you to come to Jonestown and see with their own eyes, experience a new socialist change, environment, come be around people of all races that truly care about people like you and bring about a change. The leadership of Jim Jones. I agree to my comrade sister Angela. Freedom, justice, equality and people struggle, socialism is our goal. Please come soon and write me back. I would like to deciate [dedicate] this peom [poem] you.

The push is on
There still work to be done
We can make this a better place
If we only trust in people
Like Jim and Angela
The struggle on
There’s work to be done
The job is left up to us
And we will make this a better [place]
For seniors and children to live
No matter what it takes
‘Cause we don’t mind dying
Socialism is our struggle
And we will do anything
To bring about this change

Lisa Wright

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Jonestown, Guyana, NWR
PO Box 893
Georgetown, Guyana
18-1-78 [January 18, 1978]

Dear Ms. Davis,

My name is Dawn Gardfrey and I am 14 years old. I live in Jonestown, Guyana which is a very beautiful place. I work in our gardens which we have many of. We grow many delicious and healthy foods. This land is so beautiful I would never leave. Beautiful trees and always a beautiful scenery, also the weather it’s never to hot and never cold.

I go to Jonestown High School 9th grade. We also have the Jonestown Jr. High and Elementary Schools. We learn all of our main subjects (Math, Spelling, English and of course Socialism). We have a large amount of livestock such as chickens, pigs, horses and cows, we also have a bull. We keep them at our piggery. I’d like to thank you for all the help and support you have given to us. Which is appreciated by all in this beautiful Jonestown community. Especially our wonderful leader Pastor Jim Jones who has made it possible for all of us to be together living a true socialist commitment. Sharing altogether. It wouldn’t be right for me to close this letter without me giving you a little invitation to our beautiful Jonestown Community. Because our home is your home and your always welcome.

Thank You
Your Socialist Comrade
Dawn Gardfrey
Jonestown, Guyana

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Jonestown, Guyana

Dear Comrade Angela,

My name is Willi Thomas and I‘m a youth of People’s Temple. I’ve been in this organization for over 6 yrs. And ever since the first day I came here, my whole life changed from worst to better. Before I came to Peoples Temple my life didn’t mean anything. I didn’t care about nobody not even myself. All I wanted to do was party all night long.

But I’m very appreciative to Jim Jones for changing my life for I could have something to look forward to. My goal in life is to be a lab technician. Now that I’m in Jonestown High School I really take training from our real medical staff.

Here in Jonestown we have a medical building and I work part-time in the medical building. I really enjoy working there because I learned different things about medicine & diseases. I also work in my garden which is about a couple of acres. Our crew consists of about 25 people and it’s really fun because we also work with our seniors.

In our acreage garden we have different kinds of vegetables like, Chinese raddish, cucumber, corn, squash, green, pumpkin, watermelon, lettuce, mung beans, wingbean which is very high in protein and good to eat, and many more vegetables even we planted enough for you (smile)

In my spare time I like to work in the kitchen to help make our fudge, and cookies. We have so much fun.

Everybody over here is so happy. They really enjoy being here. Thanks to Jim Jones. Hope to see ya soon smile.

Willi Thomas

Originally posted on June 2nd, 2022.

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